Channel marketing teams have been urged to tread carefully and prove their worth as a key differentiator during the credit crunch.
A recent report from Ipsos Mori and the Chartered Institute of Marketing revealed that marketers in the technology and telecoms space will be harder hit than those in any other sector. About a quarter expect their firm’s marketing function to be reduced next year and just one in ten marketers expect their company to recruit more marketing staff.
Ray Jones, representative for the Chartered Institute of Marketing, counselled marketers to go the extra mile next year. “Marketing has become much more of a science,” he said. “It has become more targeted and marketers should be doing their homework about their customers.”
Richard Bligh, group marketing director of vendor Gamma Telecom, claimed
business-to-business marketing budgets are more at risk than those in the
“Companies that weather downturns are the ones that hold their nerve and continue to invest. Slashing the marketing budget is a short-term view,” he said.
“I will be looking a lot harder at what I spend money on and will need to convince myself of the return on investment. Next year I will not try anything new, whereas this year I did some worked, some did not.”
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of security distributor Wick Hill, urged channel finance departments not to look on marketing as a soft target for budget cuts.
“We are working with our partners to increase marketing activity on the basis that if marketing works for you during the reasonable times, then stopping when times get tough is a self-fulfiling prophecy,” he said.
Jess Thompson-Hughes, managing director of distributor React Technologies, said: “We are not cutting back and are going to try to punch our way through. Marketing that delivers a return on investment is worth its weight in gold.”
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